If you are considering working as a faculty Research Assistant you might be interested in reading this excellent article, Should You Be a Faculty Research Assistant? by Mark Wojcik. from John Marshall Law. The article appeared in the September 2007 issue of the ABA publication Student Lawyer. The content of the article is timeless. Here's an excerpt from the abstract:
This article discusses: (1) ten reasons why a law student or a graduate student should consider working as a faculty research assistant; (2) three ways by which students can get hired as a faculty research assistant; and (3) eleven ways how students can do a good job once they get hired as a faculty research assistant. The article provides basic and essential career advice.
The best part of the article is not the discussion of the obvious benefits that being an RA will have on your career. Instead, you should focus on how to be the best possible RA. It will do you no good to be an RA if your faculty employer won't give you a good reference. Wojcik provides eleven ways to be a good RA but they can probably be summed up as follows:
1. Be reliable. Make a commitment to do the work you have agreed to do. If you are given a deadline stick to it. Don't be late in handing in an assignment without contacting your professor.
2. Keep in contact. Set up regular contact with your faculty employer. Don't ignore or hide from the professor. Sometimes the only thing you have to report is that you aren't making any headway on the project.
3. When you get stuck or you don't know what you are doing - ask somebody. Sometimes a simple question to a reference librarian will work wonders.